Rise in Swine Flu cases: Doctors explain causes, symptoms, treatment
The symptoms of Swine Flu include cold, cough, fever, exhaustion, headache, sore throat, cough that causes shortness of breath, decreased appetite, vomiting, or diarrhoea. Know all about Swine Flu from the experts here.
With the monsoon making its way, the recent rise in the number of Swine Flu cases have been alarming. Swine Flu, also known as H1N1, is a human respiratory infection that is caused by an influenza started in pigs. Speaking to HT Lifestyle, Dr. Sumol Ratna, MD, Medicine, Assistant Professor, Noida International Institute of Medical Sciences said, “The influenza type A viral infection known as swine flu spread widely during the 2009–2010 worldwide pandemic, which was the first flu pandemic in more than 40 years. The novel H1N1 influenza virus, which is composed of human, avian (bird), and swine genes, combined in pigs and then spread to humans, was the culprit. The H1N1 virus is currently included in the flu vaccine and is regarded as a typical seasonal flu strain.”
Dr Satish Kaul, Internal Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute further noted down the causes of Swine Flu and reason for the infection.
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“Swine flu or Influenza is a respiratory viral disease caused by H1N1 variant of influenza virus. The spread is though air borne and droplet infection or touching surface which has been contaminated with airway secretions of a patient. The incubation period is 2 to 8 days and the illness is manifested by flu like symptoms,” said Dr Satish Kaul.
Swine flu symptoms are similar to those of regular flu. The symptoms include a cold, cough, fever, exhaustion, headache, sore throat, cough that causes shortness of breath, decreased appetite, vomiting, or diarrhoea. There could be respiratory collapse and death in severe situations, but this is uncommon. The majority of people only experience moderate symptoms.
“Swine flu is treated with antiviral medications like Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and Zamanivir (Relenza). Relenza is a nasal spray, whereas tamiflu is a pill. If pneumonia or chest infections arise, more antibiotic treatment may be necessary. If hospital admission is not necessary, you must abide by the subsequent safety measures and maintain good hand- and respiratory hygiene,” added Dr. Sumol Ratna.